Dao Chi Danh Dr. Chris Tanesescu Oct, 5th, 2011 Essay on architecture. Architecture has always been an important of a culture. It is neither just the way people think of beauty nor visiting site. Architecture indeed, tells us how people think of the world, their ideas and religions. Architectural features of a place during periods of time can portray the history of that region. In this essay I will talk about the importance of architecture. First I will focus on the important role of architecture from cultural aspect.
It is not difficult to see that each culture has different styles of architecture. Buildings are different from the East to the West, this somehow shows us the cultural differences between them. Although they have some similarities, the differences are obvious. Let’s look at the case of the church of Vatican and the Shaolin monastery. The first structure is built by the Christiania and the second one was built for the worship of Buddhism. They two religious building are all great in size, but different in structures.
If the Vatican’s churches concentrate mainly on the building itself with astonishing interior( the Michelangelo’s works in the roof as an example) and do not have much outside space. The Shaolin monastery, on the other hand, has very big yards that use for monks to practice martial arts and to work. It also has buildings used for worshiping and meditation but not as good as the Vatican’s churches. The reason for those differences laid in the history, politic of the ages when they were built and the features of the two religions.
In the ancient Europe, the Christianity had a tight-knit relation with the kingdom. In fact, the Church of one nation played a significant role in politic of a nation. Someone could be recognized as a king, only after he got the supports for the church. The church could also have its own court and the monks were considered as an elite class. So relationship between monks and common people were pretty distant. The monk looked down on the people, thought of them as low-ranked and should talk to too much. That is why the church did not have much outside space.
The Buddhism is in fact, completely different. Throughout the history of Asia, Buddhism never played such an important role as the Christianity did. Buddhism did have influences on politics, but the decision often depended on the kings. Moreover, the Buddha taught his disciples that every creature was equal. No one had the rights to decide people life or to kill people under any occasions. That contradicted to the principles of kingdoms at the time. That was partially one reason that restricted its political influences.
This also led to the close relations between Buddhism monks and the people. Besides that, Buddhists believed that they would find mercy through labor, so the Shaolin monastery had very big yards for the monks to work. In conclusion, the architecture of a building, especially religious building, reflects the features of the religion and also the history of the period, during which it was built. Architecture never is and will not be, just something to look at. In fact, inside of a structure of one building is the essences of what people think of the world.